Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Kindly Rack Off and Insert That Pumpkin Where the Sun Doesn't Shine

We blokes and sheilas here in Australia don't celebrate Halloween. Never have, and - if I had my way - never will.

Admittedly, thanks to a force-fed diet of Yank sitcoms from Bewitched, Happy Days, Family Ties, Home Improvement and Friends, most of us can name more US presidents than we can our own Prime Ministers (me included. No, not as a Prime Minister, but one of the telly-tards).

As such, we know rather a lot about Halloween and the tradition of little kids wandering around the neighbourhood trick-or-treating. Bless their sweet hearts: it's all fun when the candy is good, but if some psycho inserts razor blades or wipes the lollies on his arse an hour before handing them out then I'm sure some kiddies will regret not trying a 'trick' instead of the 'treat' they received.

We also know about Thanksgiving, and most of us are under the impression that Americans will virtually risk their savings, relationships, sanity and lives in order to make it home for turkey (surely the worst roast 'bird' in the civilised world) and some kind of pumpkin pie thing that doesn't sound too appetising to me. It seems to be more revered than Christmas which, as someone who is rather fond of presents I don't have to buy, wrap or pay for - seems rather odd.

Until last year, our proudly Australian doorstep has never been darkened by any Australian ankle-biters asking us for free sweets or threatening to play a 'trick' on us. This has been a great relief considering that we may not have yet gone shopping that week or are on diets and could only offer them sun-dried mango slices or cucumber that's starting to turn slimy at the bottom of the vege crisper.

Not so last year - about a dozen of the little beggars hammered away on the door and I was too taken aback to reply with 'Eat S**t and Die You Bastards,' but instead muttered something about seeing what we had and venturing out with the flavoured Chup-a-chups from old party bags in flavours that my daughter Sapphire clearly didn't enjoy. There the piss-weakly-clad mites stood, accompanied by their parents, who, being around my age, wouldn't have ever participated in such an American event in their own bloody childhoods. The nerve....

Sadly, my own daughter Sapphire is about to be indoctrinated into the suckiest culture of them all as well, having been invited to a Halloween Party by one of her school mates. She's being excitedly planning her costume - 'Zelda the Zombie' and we've found $2 eye liner and black lipstick to complement the white and red face paint I still have from my ill-fated (and tragic) efforts at face-painting at the school fete a couple of years ago. I've also taken her to K-Mart and willingly shelled out cash to buy an oversized black t-shirt and shorts that we will rip and tear up into shreds to support the concept of just having clambered out of a five year old gravesite.

*Sigh*, who am I to pour my cynical lemon juice on her innocent anticipation? That's right, she's even got me to buy a few extra bags of lolly pops, fruit tingles and redskins for her fellow Halloweenie horrors who will undoubtedly be calling around tomorrow night.

Perhaps I should accept this newish trend as one which is overdue. No, not our celebration of everything American but that we've had our Guy Fawkes' Fireworks Night banned for nearly thirty years now, and desperately need a pointless, celebratory replacement. The subsequent declaration of 'Fireworks Night' as being illegal was thanks to scores of stupid Aussie bogans and boganelles who were drunk on Summerwine and Southwark tinnies and ended up blasting off their faces and fingertips as they flung Catherine Wheels and Roman Candles into the middle of their BBQ salad table or inside the rocking Sandman of their best mate.*

At least Halloween is less dangerous - in a life-threatening sense, if not a calorific one.

Courtesy of Dave at
http://stumblor.blogspot.com/ - good blogger, too, go pay him a visit.

* Whilst shopping in Norwood the other day, I saw a lovingly restored Sandman with the following bumper sticker on it. No, it was next to the one that said "Don't laugh, your daughter might be in here.' It read: If You Don't Own A Sandman, You Ain't Shit. This was a red rag to an ex-high school English teacher, so I wrote in the dust on the window - 'This means, grammatically, that we non-Sandman owners are NOT shit, and you, in fact ARE shit.' Oh well, it cheered me up at the time.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sticky Cordial

Lord knows my parents did their best to ensure that as a family we got to travel and see as much of Australia and Europe as possible.

As I get older and learn that the average Aussie family has two incomes and is buying a house more than nine times their annual earnings; compared to a generation ago of families living on income in a house worth three times their income, I am even more grateful for the opportunities that Mum and Dad - a high school teacher and stay-at-home Mum respectively - gave us three kids.

Many many hours were spent jostling for a fair third of the back seat in the car with my older brother Robert and younger brother David. Most of our trips were from Murray Bridge to Adelaide for school holiday shopping and visits to Grandparents and all involved at least two-out-of-three of us kids throwing up.

Before getting in the car, Dad would collar us and somehow ensure that we each swallowed a pink motion sickness tablet. Sometimes it was hidden in a spoonful of ice-cream or honey, but the unmistakeably acrid chemical taste was impossible to disguise. In the car itself, Mum's wise organisation skills made it clear that she had little faith in the medications Dad enforced. She kept three clean ice-cream cartons, some paper serviettes and a cordial bottle filled with water for the inevitable stop at the Information Bay just before the toll gate. The winding road through the hills would eventually have claimed all of us kids by then, and she'd sigh wearily and set to emptying and rinsing out the cartons in front of the boomerang-shaped sign welcoming all travellers to the capital of South Australia.

Longer trips were fortunate only in that the possibility of vomiting was unlikely. I'm not sure of the reason why, but a chuck-up would almost have been preferable to the boredom, frustration and violence that always erupted. At least in the back seat.

The long hauls to Barmera for the summer holidays via the least scenic route in the state - Karoonda, Alawoona and limitless vistas of scungy, dusty Mallee scrub - were made even more unbearable by it always being over 40C when we set off. In the late 1970s, car air conditioning was unheard of, and in addition to having a sopping wet t-shirt slicked to your back you also had to lay beach towels on the vinyl seats and steering wheel in order to avoid having your sizzling skin stick to the surface.

These days, if I'm bored - normally when accompanying Love Chunks and Sapphire to a footy game - food is my saviour. Chips, ice-cream, coffee, chocolate, pies etc can all be spaced out enough to ensure that my mouth and stomach are being well entertained. Unfortunately whilst growing up, my parents were not loaded with much spare cash, and the concept of stopping off at a service station for anything other than to fill up the car with petrol was not negotiable. No shop-bought ice-blocks or packets of chips for us.

"Come on now, if you're hungry you can have a YoYo biscuit," Mum would say, brandishing a much-dented, tartan-patterned shortbread tin packed with the least tasty biscuits known to children-kind at that time. They were like eating a bathroom tile and just as interesting. I'd wistfully move my gaze from the rich kids in the next car slurping their Razzes and Sunnyboys to the tin, whining, "I don't feel like a yo-yo. Is there anything else to eat?"
"Yes, I've cut up some apples and there's some bananas if you're hungry."
Great. Sensible fruit as a snack was about as appealing as being given a live squid and asked to fashion it into a wearable balaklava.
"Anything else, Mum?"

This was the time that out would come the sentence that every kid expects - and knows - will emerge from their mother's mouth, but hopes it will not be so in this particular instance: "If you don't want a biscuit or some fruit, you can't be hungry then."
"If you're thirsty, we've got some orange cordial." Warm, sticky and served in the anodised cups in a zip-edged holder that every self-respecting Australian glovebox contained.

"Oh. I'm OK, thanks." No such luck scoring a Farmers Union Iced Coffee either.

Seeing that food was never likely to provide much of a diversion during the drive, we siblings would instead concentrate on seat territory. WHACK went Robert's arm onto my leg if it even dared stray a centimetre into his designated area. I'd very early on accepted that his two year age difference meant that I'd never beat him in a physical contest, so I took out my revenge on David instead. WHACK! "Move over you hog!"

Eventually, the seat space negotiations would degenerate into random acts of violence; namely slaps, dead legs, chinese burns, poking and pushing. Larry, Curly and Moe would have been impressed by our ability to give and receive all sorts of fisticuffs in such a confined space.
"Stop it you kids," Mum would tiredly call from the front.

Dad used to get madder, but he was far less potent because he had to keep at least one hand on the wheel and preferably both eyes on the road. He would try and keep his right hand busy steering and his left would vaguely swing around behind him in the vain hope he'd make contact with at least one of his three fighting children. Again, he'd utter those immortal, fatherly words heard on many a long journey: "If you kids don't stop fighting, I'll give you something to fight about."

Mostly we ignored him, because we were expert at leaning into each other and dodging his 'smack hand.' The squealing, accusations, yelling and slapping sounds would normally wind up a few minutes later anyway. David would be crying, I'd be sulking and Robert would be told to sit in the front and swap seats with Mum.

One particularly searingly hot day however, the fight continued, even when Dad threatened to "Stop the car and you'll all be WALKING to Barmera!" Yeah right, we three clearly communicated to each other via rolled eyes - it's only 200km away and it's 43C, so, like, we can really see that you'll be doing that to us, old man. So, we continued our stress-release strategy of pinching, punching and squabbling away, getting louder and louder by the second when all of a sudden -- WHOOSH -- Mum hurled three cups of warm orange cordial over her right shoulder into our faces.

She got the result she wanted immediately: total silence. We sat the remaining two hours in the backseat, all speechless, indignant and getting uncomfortably stickier by the second. I can't, with any honesty, write that her technique cured us off backseat argy-bargying forever, but it sure as hell meant that the stint along the Hay Plain was a very relaxing one from the vantage point of the front seats.

In sunny Scotland, 1981

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Legs Like Fluoro Tubes

A few weeks ago, we three had ten very glorious, sun-drenched days in tropical Queensland. All three of us enjoyed the steamy heat, the warm and inviting swimming pools, the gorgeous white sandy beaches, rainforest-like gardens and - perhaps most of all - no housework or cleaning to do.

There were some great restaurants and cafes on Hamilton island and if we weren't eating out we were enjoying some rather delicious meals cooked by Love Chunks. And yet, despite being on a hard-earned holiday, we didn't gorge ourselves as much as we'd normally do.

The reason for this uncharacteristic culinary control was mostly due to seeing some of the other guests who shared the resort and pools with us – mostly parents our age or younger. It was with mild horror we witnessed a rather huge percentage of beginner beer guts, fat backs and love handles of the men and the multiple chins, life-preserver waists and ice cream cone thighs of the women. We were also shocked though by some of the garb worn by these brave folk – tiny bikinis and miniscule speedos – all with confidence and ease in such a public area. We then realised that we looked rather fit and slim in comparison to most of them.

Don’t get me wrong; everyone deserves to be relaxed and have fun on holiday regardless of their size and I admit to being pretty harsh when making comment on the appearances of others (mostly to deflect attention from my own). And, even though I’m a tallish size 12/14 gal who’s fairly fit, I’m white. Whiter than white. Legs like fluoro tubes. Arms like chunks of new chalk. Face so pale that people always think I’m recovering from a viral infection.

This unwanted whiteness is never more apparent than around the pool wearing bathers. Although we have all known for years that a tan is risking sun damage and skin cancer, I defy anyone to line up two women of the same body size and appearance - with the only difference being that one is tanned and one is not - and not admit that the tanned one looks thinner, fitter and healthier.
Carrying a little extra weight is easier to hide if you’re a golden brown – cellulite is no friend of the pallid colourless sufferers amongst us. So, I was naughty. I decided to do my utmost to get a tan. For the entire ten days I slathered every visible part of my body with factor 30+ sunscreen, rotisserating myself half-hourly like a take-away chicken. I swam 40 laps every late afternoon with the sun beating down on my arms, back, shoulder and legs and moisturized every evening with a fevour that Mrs Nivea would be proud of. Sunburn did not dare venture my way once – surely I was attaining a tiny, tiny bit of pigment? Surely I was no longer the whitest one in the pool?

All too soon, our lovely holiday was at its end. Strolling back to reception to hand over the key, the porter remarked to me, “Welcome to our resort Mrs Moo, we hope you enjoy your holiday with us. Have you just arrived from Antarctica?” Well, Antarctica might be exaggerating the exchange a tad, but you get my drift.

It was therefore time for some chemical assistance. The promise of a Sunless, Golden Glow For An Ultra Natural Tanning Result was impossible to turn down. The morning after we arrived back in cloudy South Australia, the fake tanner came out. Or, as cosmetics companies prefer, ‘Moisturising Bronzer.’ The instructions, well, instructed me to get in the shower, shave everything worth shaving, exfoliate everything worth exfoliating, get out, dry off and moisturise everything worth moisturising.

All OK so far------KNOCK KNOCK – “Mum! Can I come in to the bathroom to wash my hands?”
“Um, can you drag a chair into the laundry and use the tap in the trough?”
(uncertainly) “Oh, OK.” I'm sure she won't fall over on the tiles, crack her head on the edge of the basin and be lying there slowly bleeding to death whilst I wait for the lotion to work it's magic.....

The bronzer was applied in smooth, even strokes with very little applied to the dry areas of heels and knees. As I sparingly rubbed it into my elbows, it reminded me of what Billy Connolly once said: ‘Elbows are where God put his left over testicle skin. He thought it was a sin to waste it.’
Next step read ‘Let set for 30 mins before wearing any clothing.’ Thirty minutes! That's a aeon when standing in a freezing bathroom. Then I realised that I'd forgotten to bring in my watch. One elephant, two elephants, three elephants, four….. My fingers were turning blue. I thought that perhaps a jog on the spot would make things a bit warmer. A few seconds later I decided that perhaps not. The lack of elasticated underwire support made things in the chest area rather painful. I didn’t dare fold my arms under my acheing rack in case it led to unsightly sweat lines. Bugger it, I eventually thought: it would be far easier just to streak into the bedroom where at least the heating was on-----"BRRRRRING!" went the front door bell.

This was not exactly well-timed: our anti-feng shui nightmare of a bathroom is directly in line with the front door, and I had no intention of providing any sort of visual comic relief to the hapless visitor. In the meantime all I could do to keep warm was a sort of crippled side-to-side shuffle like a teenage boy at his first disco, and hope that the visitor would leave soon---

“Mum, there’s a guy from the post office here for you. He’s got a package that he says you’ve gotta sign for.”

Poo Bum Bugger Shit Fart.
“Where’s your Daddy? Can you get him to sign it?”
“Daddy’s in the toilet.”
And not likely to emerge until the first buds of Spring.
“TELL HIM I’LL BE THERE IN FIVE MINUTES,” I yelled to her through the keyhole.

My lovely little one relayed the message.
“Mum, he said he can’t wait around, he’s got other deliveries to do he says.”
My sigh echoed around the tiled walls – “Tell him I’ll be right there.”

“Sign here please.” He didn’t even look up. It felt nice and warm in my dressing gown and I no longer cared if the thirty minutes were up. ‘Your true golden tan will be achieved in three hours,’ it said on the tube. Whatever, it was nearly my bedtime anyway.

“Whew, what on earth is wrong with you?” said Love Chunks, sniffing at me curiouslyas we settled into bed.
“Bronzing lotion,” I muttered.
“FAKE TAN? Why? You’re a whitey and you can’t change that, it’ll look strange. It smells strange….”
“Yeah well, it’s OK for you, brown boy. You just have to think about wearing shorts and you’re nice and tanned. I hate being mistaken for the first full moon.”

The bed was shaking slightly in the darkness. We weren’t doing any horizontal folk dancing: LC was laughing. The next morning found me in the shower, frantically trying to exfoliate off the orange streaks. Clearly my application technique was not as smooth or even as I’d hoped. There were distinct finger print marks at the back of my neck and a generous amount of lotion run-off had decided to settle within my cleavage, forming a fetching fault-line of orange zig zags. My legs were golden but my feet looked as though they’d been varnished in a hailstorm. As for my arms, well, on their own they appeared sun-kissed, but I’d been too stringent in ensuring that my palms didn’t turn orange, so my hands were still pallid. It gave the impression of the gloves worn by Mickey Mouse.

It was the only time in my life that I was glad it was 20C, raining and cold. Thank the lord for black polo neck jumpers, jeans and gloves.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Female Phlegm Bag

There, amongst the post-nightclub puke, squashed chewing gum wrappers and a selection of other greasy, unmentionable attractions at a city bus stop was this lone, blue, peanut M&M.

It represents how I feel at the moment: once a object of glory, now infested by crap and disease of every kind.

Is it just me or have coughs and colds become more virulent, lengthy and painful in the past few years?

Sure sure, we get given antibiotics if a cold lingers on for too long and it's clear that a throat or chest infection has kicked in or there is too much chunky, lime-green snot on tap, but I honestly don't remember colds being this harsh when I was growing up.

If dealing with hayfever isn't already hard enough.....! A couple of nights ago as I was power walking my way home, I was attacked with a fit of sneezes so powerful I was in danger of peeing myself. Then, a gust of dry northern wind (as only Adelaide can do so well) blasted a fistful of dirt into my face, so I ended up staggering around blindly down the footpath wildly gouging at my eyes, sneezing like a stuck Acid House CD and doing my best to cross my legs and hope that no wee was coming out. One old lady who was bravely thumbing her nose up at the water restrictions stopped watering her roses and called out nervously, "Are you alright over there, love?"

The continual itchiness of hay-fever is made worse when a cold is thrown into the mix as well. We all know about the old saying 'We can send a man to the moon but we can't cure the common cold', and it rang true this week as I sat in a meeting with some academics who simply couldn't understand why they now had 'prove' how their research has made a difference outside of their institutional walls.

The pesky government bureaucrats (called 'clerks' by a guy who clearly started uni when Noah was in woodworking class 101) are now insisting that the brainiacs clearly show how their egg-head exertions have had a positive impact on society, community, government policy or merely improved life for even just one individual. Yes, these old bookish brainiacs have all been cited in other respected journals many times, but a lot were struggling with the concept that Joe Average needed to be convinced that their unique field of expertise and continued study was of some merit.

Shouldn't these Super Synapses be focussing their energies on curing colds, or eliminating them right from the outset? Apart from rage-excused-by-religion and Celine Dion's entire musical output, what has annoyed the human race more?

In the past five years or so, I've seen strong, fit and healthy people deteriorate into stooped and exhausted shells who can barely be understood behind the head full of mucus they're having to lug around from place to place. This snotty and coughy state is no longer able to shaken off with a hot honey and lemon drink and a day under the doona, but carries on for weeks and weeks and weeks.

The suffering person has, by this stage, completely given up on common social courtesies and will simply trumpet their nose into a tissue with a noise not unlike that of a distressed elephant lost from its herd in a vain effort to rid themselves of a mugful of mucus. I'm sure I'm not the only person who has seen these poor bastards blow holes in their tissues due to the volume of phlegm that's been flung out of their facial flutes. And the coughing....!

I was convinced that I was about to hawk up a lung on my desk today. I felt like the Marlboro Man's Mistress in her retirement years with a puffy red and sweaty face from the effort of it all. And there's been no rest for me, or my loving family at night either. Once the sweats and shakes had subsided, my throat was revving up for its turn in the spotlight. Or should I say soundscape. With my snot-filled noggin, stuffed-up chest and wheezy breaths, I spent the night sitting propped up on even our fancy little 'just for show' pillows that normally adorn our bed, looking for all the world like a nocturnal nanna about to 'receive' visitors.

Apparently, when I did fall asleep, my snot-logged snores sounded like an outboard motor that had been stuck in a swamp. It was so loud I woke myself up, only to find Love Chunks staring down at me and wondering aloud, "Geez no wonder you were about to divorce me until I got my punching bag thingy in my throat surgically removed."

It's so easy when you're not the one with the cold to think "Ah, it's just a cold, stop being a wimp," but when it is you with the cold, all you want to do is shove two test-tubes into your nostrils to let them drip freely and save you the bother of wearing away your face with continued tissue wipes.

So to all you university Egg Heads - sweetie darling honey suckle piggy wiggy poo poos - would you please please PLEASE consider putting aside your ground-breaking examination of Pam Ayre's early poems for subliminal, pro-terrorism propaganda and instead find a way to eliminate this dreadful affliction for good. I'll even attend your lectures and buy the textbook....

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Running the gamut of emotions from A to B

Apparently David Sozzlehoff is to star in 'Anaconda 3'. Like me, you probably idly wondered, 'Oh, I didn't even know they'd been optimistic enough to make Anaconda 2' but there you go: The Hoff was big enough news to feature in the Age and on channel nine's Today Show.

When Richard Wilkins sarcastically commented, "Well that's got 'Oscar' written all over it," it got me thinking about how stressed out copy writers try to wring out glowing reviews from absolutely negative ones.

I can see the poster for 'Anaconda 3: Return from Rehab' on the window of the video store now, emblazoned on the top with "This has OSCAR written all over it!" - Richard Wilkins, Today Show. With all evidence of scorn removed it may actually encourage a few mental midgets to plonk a couple of two dollar coins on the counter to see for themselves how Sozzlehoff may have merited such an accolade.

When a movie is rip-snortingly, trouser-fillingly, over-priced popcorn-inhalingly good, then the copy writer can sit back, slurp their mocha latte and rub their hands with glee. Actually, that's still quite a feat because it would be hard to sit back from the desk whilst trying to slurp your coffee hands-free (unless you have lips like Mick Jagger) because they're already occupied with rubbing themselves in glee.... but I digress.

Katharine Hepburn once received the review, "...runs the gamut of emotions from A to B," and Fred Astaire copped the now infamous note from a casting director, "Can't act. Can't sing. Can dance a little," but the movies they eventually starred in went on to become (mostly) huge hits. Not so for Pia Zadora (there's an obscure one for youse) who starred as Anne Frank in a play funded by her billionaire husband. "She's in the attic, for f***k's sake", yelled out an exasperated audience member several minutes into the debacle.

What of clunkers such as 'Howard the Duck', 'Ishtar', 'Bonfire of the Vanities', 'Gigli' and 'Glitter'? How on earth would you be able to find a positive review to slap on the poster? In actual fact if you have a go, you'll find that it's surprisingly simple, which, if given a bit of thought, is pretty well why the movie ended up being so ordinary in the first place.

For instance. Fred Nurke justifiably writes: "This movie could have been brilliant if star power was ignored in favour of genuine talent."
Desperate movie publicist writes: "......Brilliant......Star Power....Genuine Talent...."

Here's another one. Flo Blow opines: "I never thought, in my entire writing career, that such an execrable movie would end up provoking a bout of nausea, compelling me to exit the cinema after only viewing the opening credits."
Easy. Try: ".....Thought provoking.....Compelling Viewing......"

Exhibit number three: "The cast's feeble efforts to work with a complete absence of realistic storyline or intelligent comedy is made only even more by their total disregard for anything remotely resembling the staggering special effects' budget. I laughed til I cried at the sight of Sharon Stone passing herself off as the pre-drug/post-Mickey Mouse Club Britney Spears."
Ta Da: ".....Realistic storyline.....Intelligent Comedy......Staggering Special Effects....I laughed til I cried....."

I remember once seeing "....solid performances...." as the only headline featured at the top of a billboard and knew that it must have stunk worse than Pamela Anderson's dance pole after date night.

According to my Dad, writing such 'reviews' was also pretty difficult in his career as a high school teacher. He reckons that there were many times when he was reduced to writing something like:

  • "Derek's presence in the classroom provides a refreshing contribution to the lessons......" - as in he would interrupt the chemistry experiment by farting, setting fire to the papers under his desk and getting the maths nerd into a painful headlock before being subdued with a well-aimed blackboard duster;

  • "she always makes an effort..." - ......to spray her entire body with 'Impulse' in a poor attempt to hide the tobacco smells and to wear her dress at vagina-level in order to attract the fellas with visible Adams' apples;

  • "Academically speaking, young Nathan is showing a real talent for conflagration, wood work and geometry...." - meaning that he is a mindless vandal with a compass and cigarette lighter always in hand and the intelligence of an anvil;

  • "Narelle is always prepared to help others...." - .....disguise their love bites by applying toothpaste, wearing skivvies under their summer dresses and applying cheap make up;

  • "Warren has coped admirably in settling into the set curriculum...." - because he wins the prize for being the only student in my remedial class who needs a reminder to breathe...

    Finally, here we have a contender for the Best Special Effects in a South Australian Country Town, aka The Murray Bridge Bunyip.

We may be tempted to think (or write, in my case) that: "This creature is about as realistic and horrifying as an excess of playdoh in a sheltered workshop. A real class act that is perhaps only eclipsed by Berri's 'Big Orange' which is ironically now pink in colour due to sun damage. An embarrassment that even a liquored-up mandrill must see as befitting a retarded council worker with a booger fetish."

But the town's tourism board could say: "......Realistic and horrifying......A real class act.....a must see........"

Monday, October 08, 2007

Follow your dreams?

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s rarely exciting to read a blog that starts off with the sentence: “I had a really weird dream last night.” But tough luck; I really did have a weirdo dream last night.

It was one of those dreams that your brain sends you to let you know that your bladder is full and it’s high time you woke up, staggered down the hall in the darkness and emptied it; all the while praying to yourself that, because your eyes are still closed, you are still asleep and NOT going to lie awake scratching yourself for the rest of the night.

In this particular dream I was wearing one of those pointless Nascar race-goers’ hats that had a siphon running around the brim and a tube that fed beer directly into my mouth.In all honestly, there’d certainly be a fair few Aussie car watchers (Grand Prix, Clipsal 500) that would regard such a device as being the best thing since getting a sun-browned butt-crack whilst still fully clothed. Anyhow, I was sipping away on the tube happily, feeling mightily pleased with myself and life in general.

A quick glance around me revealed the location to be my old university: lots of tall, gracious old buildings, green grass and climbing stairways. ‘What was I doing here wearing this hat’, I wondered idly, noticing that no-one else walking by had one. ‘Perhaps it’s a concert or an all-day family event’, I guessed.

However then I looked down towards the blurry thin outline that was the drinking tube. That cloudy plastic python stealthily wound itself down around my waist, further down around my hips and disappeared into – well, gulp – an area that no-one would wish to drink some yellowish liquid from…..

As I sat up in bed and brushed my sticky fringe out of my eyes, it made me realise that it put a new spin on the phrase: “I tip my hat off to you.” It also explained why I've never ever liked the taste of beer in my waking/sane hours.

Unlike the other bloggers, I very rarely have dreams that I can remember. If I do remember them, they’re normally recurring ones that are mundane: many’s the time I’ve been dream-running for my life/bus/partner/Frisbee/nearby toilet and woken up to find the sheets all twisted into a fabric plait and my legs still kicking along.

The other regular nocturnal nightmare is one where I am prevented from getting to where I desperately need to go. People call me, intercept me, accidents happen, I fall over, get caught in a traffic jam or asked to do more work before I can leave. This normally finds me clenching the sheets and quilt so tightly that I’m covered in sweat and still feeling unaccountably angry long after I’ve woken and skipped to the loo and back. Love Chunks once had inadvertently woken me up during this nominal nightmare so that he could have his share of the sheets and I yelled at him to “LEAVE ME ALONE, YOU HOLLOW-HEADED MOOSE MUNCHER!” No, I don’t know what it means either, but he seemed content to lie on his side of the bed without any covers.

Love Chunks has thumped me in the face on more than one occasion. Put the phone down, we don’t need the Domestic Violence unit; he was asleep at the time. He tends to nod off on his side, with both arms raised to his chin, ala Rusty ‘Cinderella Man’ Crowe. Unfortunately for me, when his muscles go into their psychotic spasmic dance, one of the fists shoots out and pops me a sharp one on the nose. Needless to say, we don’t tend to sleep face-to-face much any more. Also the thought of waking up to each other’s Morning Butt-Breath isn’t convincing us we’re missing out on anything either.

Love Chunks, like me, doesn’t have much to report inside his noggin’ at night-time. Well, maybe that’s a bit harsh, because he also has a recurring dream. In it, he’s sitting on the toilet, feeling OK, feeling comfortable, doing what a bloke has to do. Laying a cable; Dropping John Howard off at the pool; Posting Osama a letter...... All is well and good until he realises that he’s not in a stall or at home, but is instead plonked right in the middle of Rundle Mall, right by the Silver Balls sculpture. No-one is noticing him, but his embarrassment is enormous. Does he finish what he’s doing and walk away with confidence? Stay seated so that nothing pops out and scares the old gals on their way to Harris Scarfes? Ah, if only we had the foresight and lateral thinking we (mostly) possess in our waking hours – he should have put his cap on the ground in front of him and convinced some shoppers that he’s a living art busker. Might be more money in it than meteorology….

Perhaps I should try what my buddy Jillaroo recommends - Dilmah decaffeinated tea. Both she, hubby Kent and their friend Ingrid have all sworn that they’ve had the most psychedelic and off-the-planet dreams the night of slurping one of the Dilmah decaff bags. I’ve forgotten all of the details, but I know that in one part of Jill’s jolly nocturnal journey she “did something to anger a nearby ferret, who rode his bike over and…..”

I'm not yet convinced though. Couldn't I sniff a few whiteboard markers at the office and then go home to inhale a full family-sized block of Nestle Dark Cappuccino chocolate and get drunk on Bailey's irish creme instead?